Tai Chi Fighting with Nothingness

tai-chi-fighting-6Here’s an excellent description of the Tai Chi fighting method from “The Classics of Tai-Chi Chuan” by Wang Tsung Yueh.

“Keep the central position: do not show anything substantial or insubstantial to your opponent.”

We talked about this in the post on Wu Chi as a formless fighting stance.

“When the opponent brings pressure on one’s left side, that side should be empty: this principle holds for the right side also. When he pushes upward or downward against one, he should feel as if encountering nothingness.”

You’ll learn to do this in two ways.

The first is with soft pliable movement. Anywhere the opponent tries to strike or grab simply slips out of their way.

The trick is timing.

Move too early and they won’t commit. They’ll switch to a more substantial target.

Move too late and they’ll have you.

Move just right and they’ll feel like they fell into a whole. They had you and then you weren’t there.

The Tai Chi Fighting course is full of drills that give you this soft responsive body and impeccable timing.

The second way to do this is purely internal.

You’ll learn to relax and dissolve the center.

When the opponent makes contact you don’t move physically. Instead you become so soft that the force they are exerting cannot find purchase anywhere.

It will feed back to them and affect them wherever they are holding the most tension.

“When he advances, let him experience the distance as increasing drastically. When he retreats, let the distance seem exasperatingly short.”

This is about messing with the opponents perception of your movement, distances & timing.

You can do this small and internally with the skills mentioned above.

You’ll also learn to do this at a distance with movements and positions and with internal skills like contracting and expanding.

The Tai Chi fighting course includes drills and games, which may be just as fun as sip777, that teach you to control the situation all your critical distances.

10 – 15 feet apart, 6 – 10 feet, 1 – 3 feet and closer.

“The entire body is so light that a feather can be felt and so pliable that a fly cannot rest without setting it in motion.”

The sensitivity and pliability to pull this off both come from extreme softness.

…and the only way you can maintain extreme softness in an fight is with lot’s of practice.

Freestyle Fighting the Tai Chi Way is pack with hands on drills, exercises and sparring methods.

So you can get the practice you need to use these skills when it matters.

Enrollment ends on Friday.



  1. bob Karstadt says

    Does your program teach the forms as well as the application. Is there progressive rank testing.


    • Matt Holker says

      Hello Bob,

      Yes, we teach forms and applications at every step of our material. The higher up in our program you go, the more we require the knowledge of and ability to use applications.

      At Level 1 we require you to know an 8 move and 13 move form, with basic knowledge of at least one application for each of the 13 moves. In Level 2 we teach a 48 move form, and you will need to be able to demonstrate at least 5 applications for each part of each move (including transitional moves). There are 6 total tests you will need to pass in the Level 2 material.

      Level 3 is our Combat Tai Chi curriculum. In that program you will need to learn a minimum of 75 applications for a core of 16 moves from the set. Before you are done with that program you will be expected to be able to “discover” applications for any other Tai Chi move from our 48 move form, or any other form. To complete this Level of our program, you will also need to learn the Tai Chi fighting method and be able to demonstrate combat proficiency with the art of Tai Chi. In order to pass the test for Level 3, you will need to be able to use Tai Chi (and nothing else) as a complete self defense art that is capable of working for you in a real life street attack against multiple attackers.

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